SC-01: Scott’s appointment could pit Sanford vs. Sanford

Mark Sanford

With South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s appointment of Tim Scott to the United States Senate, South Carolina politics may get very interesting.

Scott ascent to the Senate obviously creates an opening in South Carolina’s First Congressional District (SC-01). As one might imagine, candidates try to gain position in the special election for the seat. Via the South Carolina-based Post & Courier, the National Journal has a quick rundown of some of the names that could jump in the race:

The special election for Scott’s seat, in the heavily Republican 1st District, would likely attract a big field of GOP contenders. The Charleston Post & Courier has a long list of potential Republican candidates: State Sen. Paul Thurmond (the late Sen. Strom Thurmond’s son), who ran against Scott in the 2010 primary, is not ruling out another run at the seat. Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey also wouldn’t rule out a bid, along with former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford (reportedly on Haley’s shortlist for the Senate seat) and former Charleston County School Board member Larry Kobrovsky, who ran in 2010 as well. And Charleston County GOP chair Lin Bennetttold the Post & Courier state Rep. Chip Limehouse and state Sen. Larry Grooms contacted her to express interest in running.

Teddy Turner, son of media mogul Ted Turner, has already announced his candidacy, according to Daniel Halper of the Weekly Standard. Turner is billing himself as the “‘rogue Republican’ of the Turner family” as well as a “an entrepreneur, conservationist, and maritime enthusiast who is well known in the Lowcountry for his philanthropic endeavors.”

While there is already a long list of names, there are two that stick out, including Jenny Sanford, who was mentioned as potiential candidate by the National Journal. The other is former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

Gov. Sanford represented SC-01 from 1995 to 2001. During his time in Washington, Sanford was among the most fiscally conservative members of the House. He became Governor of South Carolina in 2003. Sanford was known for pushing school choice legislation and holding the line on spending, receiving solid marks from the Cato Institute on the biannual Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors.

Unfortunately, Sanford’s legacy was tainted in 2009, when he disappeared for several days. He initally said that he went hiking Appalachian Trail. It was later revealed that Sanford had traveled to Argentina to meet with his lover.

Roll Call reported yesterday that Sanford has been approached about the prospect of running for his old seat, which he is apparently taking seriously. According to the report, Sanford would have a good start in fundraising as he still has $124,000 from his previous congressional campaign.

Jenny Sanford, ex-wife of Mark Sanford, is also considering a bid. The Washington Post notes this morning that there is a real possibility of the two squaring off in the special election. The former First Lady of South Carolina told Roll Call that she’ll discuss the prospect of running with family over the holidays.

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